Judge Halts Gender-Affirming Care Ban

In a hearing on July 21, 2021, a federal judge in Arkansas issued a preliminary injunction preventing a state law banning gender-affirming care for youth from taking effect. The ACLU requested the preliminary injunction as part of its broader lawsuit challenging this first-of-its-kind law, which the Arkansas legislature adopted in April over the veto of the governor. “To pull this care midstream from these patients, or minors, would cause irreparable harm,” the judge is reported to have said during the hearing. GLMA President Scott Nass, MD, MPA, and GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas, JD, issued the following statement praising the decision:

“The judge today has recognized what GLMA and health experts have been saying all along: Gender-affirming care is medically necessary, life-saving care. The Arkansas law, and others like it, are extreme measures that endanger the health and well-being of transgender youth. Decisions about gender-affirming care should remain in the hands of trans youth, their families and their providers, not dictated by lawmakers.

“GLMA was proud to join with 18 health professional associations in an amicus brief explaining to the court the medical consensus in support of gender-affirming care and how the ban would harm transgender youth. We will continue to do everything we can to ensure trans youth, and all LGBTQ individuals, receive the care they need and deserve.”

In addition to the amicus brief, GLMA and NCTE organized a letter sent to the National Governor’s Association signed by more than 1600 health professionals opposing any state legislation that would ban or otherwise limit gender-affirming care for youth.

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